Submitted October 12, 2023

By Patricia Prewitt, Consumer Education Advocate

The diagnosis of a significant disease can be heartbreaking with its impact on the patient and family. There is so much to manage, and even with good insurance coverage, the impact on finances may be significant. Here in Massachusetts, we are fortunate to have medical institutions that often provide people with a licensed social worker, nurse care manager, and other support staff to help when such an impactful diagnosis is made. Most people in these situations find themselves doing research on the internet, looking for information and resources.

Where should I look to find good information?  There are many, many nonprofit institutions that offer resources and educational support to patients and their families. Recognizable names include the American Cancer Society, The Alzheimer’s Association, Michael J Fox, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and American Liver Foundation just to name a few. Many of these foundations are mission based to raise money for research and provide grants for medical research in specific diseases. Often these entities work at the national government level to effect health care policy, and work to obtain research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How will I know if the non-profit or foundation is a reliable resource? Check first with your medical team for resources they trust-after all, this is their area of expertise. If you are doing your own research, look for “.org,” and read about their mission. or are helpful websites to see rankings for a particular charity or foundation.

What about non-profits that support patients financially with high out-of-pocket costs? That information may be harder to find. There are some entities like The Patient Assistance Fund and HealthWell Foundation that support certain diseases.  Donations support funds for grants to individuals who apply. Certain criteria must be met, and funds may run out once the donations have been allocated.  Local community groups, churches and synagogues may have their own resources for members.

What about other types of bills?  In our area, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation is a terrific grant resource for patients battling all types of cancers. Grants are provided to assist with non-medical bills such as rent, mortgage payments and utilities. Your local food pantry may be a valuable resource during this time.

Any other ideas? Check for programming at your local YMCA or Community Center. Often these places may have programs in place to support healthy living with disease at a low cost or no cost through grants.  Finding a support group that meets locally can be a benefit to both the patient and their caregivers.

About the Author: Patricia Prewitt is a local Massachusetts resident who spent over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Tricia is a consumer education advocate and loves helping people find ways to save money on their prescriptions. More information and free resources are available on her website at or call her at 508-507-8840.

Favorite Quote: Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”—William James